Friday, 17 September 2021

Dutch beer 1938 - 1961

I found a strange little document in the Amsterdam Archives. Not one I had asked to be digitised. That honour goes to my friend Peter Symons. 

Its source is the CBK (the Dutch brewers' association). The first page has an overview of the Dutch brewing industry in 1961. The rest seems to be the draught of a promotional blurb about the Amstel brewery. Full of annotations and requests to check various facts. The two sections seem totally unconnected.

It's the first page that I'll be looking at today. I like it because it's got some lovely big, fat numbers. Exactly my sort of thing.

First some general stuff. In 1961 there were 34 breweries in Holland, of which ten exported. Quite a high percentage, considering.Between them, they employed 5,500 people. Which doesn't sound a lot. That works out to around 162 per brewery. That must only include those directly employed and not those working in pubs.

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, Holland really got its act together between the wars in the growing of malting barley. In 1961, it was totally self-sufficient.

I'll finish with a lovely table. Note what a high proportion of production was exported . This grew even more, hitting around 50% in the 1990s.

Dutch beer 1938 - 1961 (hl)
year Dutch sales exports total % exported
1938 1,269,356 111,512 1,380,868 8.08%
1950 1,068,462 360,084 1,428,546 25.21%
1955 1,719,188 664,725 2,383,913 27.88%
1960 2,635,339 916,314 3,551,653 25.80%
1961 2,935,999 865,583 3,801,582 22.77%
Holland en Bier held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121 1139, page 1.

Thursday, 16 September 2021


Doing my obsessive thing with the CBK records, has its uses. I can see how the German influence increased during the Dutch occupation.

Early on, it's the Dutch breweries discussing voluntary measures to cope with the war situation. The occupiers aren't involved hardly at all.

The further into the war, the more the Germans start interfering. At first in fairly logical ways. Like matching the strength of German and Dutch beer. 

Next they want to specify not just the strength, but the amount brewed. No more the pre-war. Except for the beer brewed for the Wehrmacht.

Gradually, the Germans take more and more control. Frog in a saucepan like.

Fascinating to see it from the inside. I'm sure there's loads more fun to come. The Nazis loved micromanaging to the point of absurdity.

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Barclay Perkins PA

Fitting in with yesterday's interwar London PA style definition, here's an example of such a beer. And one from my favourite brewery, too.

Top of Barclay’s IPA tree was PA. Find it confusing that it was stronger than the IPA? Don’t worry, it was often this way around in London.

Parti-gyled with their IPA, it was ever so slightly different from XLK in something other than the OG. The dry hops were different. Styrian Golding rather than East Kent Goldings.

I would have expected the more expensive beer to get the EKGs, which you’d assume were the best-quality hops. But the brewing record handily includes the prices of the ingredients. The EKGs were 286/- a cwt., and the Styrian Goldings 288/-. Both from the 1938 harvest. They wouldn’t be getting any more Styrian hops for a few years.

PA was discontinued in November 1940.

1939 Barclay Perkins PA
pale malt 8.25 lb 73.27%
flaked maize 1.25 lb 11.10%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.75 lb 15.54%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.01 lb 0.09%
Fuggles 150 mins 1.00 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Styrian Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1053
FG 1018.5
ABV 4.56
Apparent attenuation 65.09%
IBU 38
SRM 13
Mash at 150º F
After underlet 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 150 minutes
pitching temp 61º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Defining Pale Ale (part two)

As a couple of you said you wouldn't mind some more historic style definitions, here's another one. 

It's the same style, but from a later period. Well, the next period, really. As this is for 1921 to 1929. Didn't the last period end at 1914? Why is there a gap? Because WW I totally messed UK beer about. In the latter stages of the war, changing restrictions meant styles were sometimes changing every couple of months. T cover the whole war I'd need at least half a dozen different definitions. If you're interested in seeing what they might look like, get yourself a copy of Armistice!, my book about brewing in WW I.

Unsurprisingly, the gravity is lower than before WW I. Though the strongest examples were about the same OG as the weakest pre-war versions. The gravity is no accident. These beers cost 8d per pint in the public bar. In the last set of wartime price controls, the top slot, costing 8d per pint, was set at anything over 1055º. And even after the controls were abolished, 1055º remained the highest gravity pretty much any draught beer was brewed to. In London that meant Burton Ale, Stout and PA.

The only changes to the grist are that no London PA was brewed from 100% pale malt and that a few examples employed a little crystal malt. But that was definitely the exception rather than the rule. Most PAs still only contained pale malt.

As for the hops, pretty much anything goes. Ones from Alsace, Belgium, New Zealand, Canada and everywhere else that grew them are possible. I've not mentioned some of the older varieties such as Cobb, Tolhurst and Colgate as they aren't currently available and, as they were of lesser quality, they weren't usually found in strong Pale Ales.

The preferred varieties, especially for late copper additions and dry hopping, remained Goldings, Fuggles and sometimes Saaz or Hallertau. Cluster, whose aroma British brewers weren't great fans of, was limited to early copper additions.

Interwar London PA (Best Bitter)
OG 1050-1055
ABV 5-6%
Apparent attenuation 65-85%
IBU 30-45
SRM 6 - 10
pale malt 75-85%
crystal malt 0-5%
flaked rice or maize 10-15%
sugar 5-20%
Bramling Cross  
Northern Brewer  
Styrian Goldings  

Monday, 13 September 2021

Being compulsive

I realise my head isn't like everyone else's. Compulsive behaviour. It's part of me.

When I looked out of my office window and saw someone touching every sign along the road, I didn't think "What a weirdo". No. That's just like me, I thought. A bit more public and odder looking, but basically just like me.

Being compulsive has its advantages as a researcher. It means I go through material fully. Really fully. Whenever I see beer analyses or price lists, I have to record them. It's a pain in the arse, quite a lot of work, but I can't help myself. Thirty years of such compulsive behaviour has left me with some amazing datasets.

I've around 25,000 beer analyses. In one table. Which doesn't include everything from brewing records. The true total is 40,000 plus. A shitload. And as collection effort I would never have started without the thing in my head. The desire to collect, interpret and know.

It's why I'm such an arrogant and obnoxious twat in arguments. I don't think I know better, I do. Mostly.

I still collect as much data as I can. You can never have too much.

Weird how this post went. When I started, I meant it to be about the Nazi occupation of Holland. And why I've been transcribing every word from the CBK (Dutch brewers' organisation) committee minutes from WW II.

OK, short version. By looking at every word from every meeting, the creeping influence of the Germans is laid bare. Hands off, mostly, in 1940, increasingly heavy in 1941. Which is as far as I've got. I expect much worse in 1942.

I do this shit so you don't have to. And it satisfies some weird completist urge in me. We all win.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Burton Ale after WW II

In London Burton Ale remained a standard draught beer. Though after the mid-1950’s it increasingly became a winter seasonal. There were also stronger versions that the standard KK. These were mostly sold in bottles, but sometimes appeared on draught.

Before WW I draught Burton Ale, or KK as it was often known, was a very powerful dark beer with an OG of 1070º-1075º. The war knocked the stuffing out of Burton and in the 1920s and 1930s it had a gravity of around 1055º. The next war lopped off another ten gravity points or so.

The lack of any analyses in the Whitbread Gravity Book is an indication that Burton was going out of fashion. By the 1960s, only a few London breweries still made a draught version. When Fullers replaced their Burton with ESB and Youngs changed the name of theirs to Winter Warmer the style was, in terms of its name, dead. 

Draught Burton Ale 1948 - 1954
Year Brewer Beer Price OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation colour
1951 Barclay Perkins Strong Ale 27 1079 1011 8.96 86.08% 120
1951 Barclay Perkins Burton 21 1043 1010.5 4.22 75.58% 100
1954 Barclay Perkins KK 21 1043 1011.1 4.14 74.19% 120
1953 Charrington Strong Ale 19 1039.9       144
1954 Charrington KK 19 1048.1 1010.7 4.86 77.75% 130
1951 Charrington  Burton 20 1046.3 1012.1 4.44 73.87% 180
1948 Courage Burton 21 1044.5 1008.5 4.69 80.90% 140
1951 Courage Strong Ale XXX 20 1048.1 1015.5 4.22 67.78%  
1954 Courage XXX 20 1046.2 1013.8 4.20 70.13% 200
1951 Ind Coope Double Burton 24 1054.3 1013.9 5.25 74.40% 110
1953 Ind Coope Strong Ale 19 1043.0       112
1951 Mann Crossman Burton 19 1041.5 1007.6 4.41 81.69% 145
1948 Meux Burton 20 1041 1006.4 4.51 84.39% 245
1951 Meux XXX 20 1046.2 1013.1 4.29 71.65%  
1953 Meux Strong Ale 20 1045.8       152
1951 Taylor Walker Burton 21 1050 1014.3 4.63 71.40% 120
1954 Taylor Walker KKK 21 1049.1 1017 4.15 65.38% 110
1951 Truman Strong Ale 22 1047.7 1010.7 4.81 77.57%  
1953 Truman Strong Ale 22 1045.6        
1954 Truman SA 22 1049.1 1009.3 5.19 81.06% 110
1948 Watney KKKK 21 1046.1 1010.5 4.63 77.22% 115
1954 Watney KKKK 24 1055.2 1013.5 5.42 75.54% 140
1953 Wenlock Strong Ale 20 1043.4       176
1949 Whitbread Strong Ale 20 1046.7       104
1951 Whitbread KKKK 23 1053.5        
1953 Whitbread Strong Ale 23 1052.1       104
1954 Whitbread KKKK 23 1051.2 1011.9 5.11 76.76% 100
  Average   21.8 1049.4 1011.9 5.11 75.96% 128
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.

This is an excerpt from my book on UK brewing in the aftermath of WW II, Austerity!

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Let's Brew - 1887 Fullers IPA

Here’s a perfect example of a London Pale Ale, which I recently defined. “But it’s called IPA”, I hear you say. Very true. But the distinction between Pale Ale and IPA was very vague in the 19th century. And a couple of decades later the name of this beer was changed to Pale Ale without any change in the recipe.

As this would have been a Stock Pale Ale, aged for many months before sale and undergoing a secondary Brettanomyces fermentation the FG would have been lower when it finally hit the pub. And the ABV somewhat higher, probably around 6%.

All of Fuller’s Pale Ales, despite not being parti-gyled together at this point, had essentially the same recipe. This is simply a scaled-up XKK. With an equally similar grist of just paler malt and an unspecified type of sugar.

Three types of hops again, all from the 1886 harvest and I assume all English. One is the enigmatic HB, another East Kent and the third illegible. I’ve plumped for a combination of Fuggles and Goldings. The dry hops are a total guess.

1887 Fullers IPA
pale malt 10.50 lb 80.77%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.50 lb 19.23%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1060
FG 1018
ABV 5.56
Apparent attenuation 70.00%
IBU 86
SRM 10
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 57º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Friday, 10 September 2021

Watering beer again

We're back with the Dutch brewers' association discussing gravity reductions during WW II.

The committee member from Grolsch suggested doing away with the class of intermediate beer altogether.

"Mr. de Groen points out that the gravity of the intermediate beer is very close to heavy, which may make it difficult to maintain the price difference. The speaker asks whether the intermediate beer cannot be dropped.

Mr Stikker points out that the C.B.K. such a measure would affect the livelihoods of some breweries which only produce intermediate beer. The C.B.K. should not interfere further than is necessary in the commercial relations of individual breweries. 

Heer van Wijk believes that the objection of Heer de Groen is met by setting the gravity of the intermediate beer at 8.8 to 9.1%, so that, according to the present situation, it is somewhere in the middle between the gravity of Pilsener and lager.

The breweries that sell only intermediate beer are mentioned:

Huyben in Horn
Smeysters in Echt
Geenen in Neer
Maes in Stamproy

while the Drie Hoefijzers produces intermediate beer and presumably also the Phoenix and other breweries."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, pages 305 - 306.

Interesting that Mr. Stikker stuck up for the intermediate brewers, as his company, Heineken, didn't produce this type of beer. I can't say I've come across it at all. I'm surprised that it was all some breweries produced. As I've not heard of any of the four, they must have been pretty small.

There would need to be enforcement of the new rules and the CBK wanted to be in control of it.

"The speaker pointed out that sanctions against violations will of course be necessary under the aforementioned regulation. These can come from the N.A.C. and consist of a brewing ban or exclusion from distribution. The C.B.K. will insist that such sanctions are only applied on the recommendation of the C.B.K., so that difficulties can first be viewed within one's own circle. Therefore checks by the C.B.K. will also be necessary, for which purpose statements will have to be made to the C.B.K., which can be verified if necessary by accountants or laboratory research, while moreover the cooperation of the tax authorities is in sight."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 306.

They finally agreed to the proposed gravity reductions.

"After some further discussion, the board decides unanimously on the proposal of Mr Stikker:

a. that as of January 15, the percentages of the different beer types will be reduced equally to:

lager beer 7.5 - 7.8 %
between beer 8.8 - 9.1%
heavy beer 10.0 -10.3%
Stout to be determined (e.g. 15%)

Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 307.

I'm not sure any Stout was brewed at all after this point.

Why were the reductions only coming into effect two months later? Because the majority of beers were Lagers and there was a couple of months gap between brewing and sale.

Just three days later, Heineken swung into action. Not by brewing their beers weaker. Well not directly. They mashed the same but added water in the cooler to pull down the gravity to the required level.

Heineken watering November 1940
beer before after
Pils 11.80 9.85
Licht Lagerbier 8.90 7.38
Donker Lagerbier 8.90 7.38
Heineken brewing record held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 834 - 1759.

Note that the Pils was below the minimum gravity of 10º Plato.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Defining Pale Ale

Remember my piss-take style guide to IPA? Here's something similar for Pale Ale. Or rather the opposite.

As this time I'm publishing a serious style specification for Pale Ale. But according to the system mentioned in yest another post. That is, split up across time. In this case 1880 to 1914.And I've further subdivided it by region. I considered simply classifying it as England. Then remembered how different beers were in London and, say, Southwold. 

London is good. Because I have examples from numerous breweries. From the brewing records and analyses, it's obvious that the London brewers made beers which were roughly similar. Their X Ales were much the same. And so were their Pale Ales.

Making my life simple. Which is one of the thing I value most. A nice simple life, filled with archives and numbers.

Here's my stab at defining London Pale Ale. Not that many of you will be in a position to mark my homework.

I'm not sure what it was ordered as down the pub. Most likely, simply Bitter.

I haven't listed all the types of hops which were used at some point. Just the most commonly-used ones.In general, they tended to be the best varieties and fresh. 

The best quality pale malt was used. Mostly made from English 2-row barley, sometimes accompanied by 6-row Californian. No other type of malt was used. Definitely not crystal.

As they were going for as pale a colour as possible, the sugar was mostly No. 1 invert, or something similar.  Rice was more popular in the first decade or so of the period. After that, it was maize all the way. Not everyone used adjuncts, just most. There were those who never acquired the habit, such as Whitbread.

Hopping was heavy in both copper and cask. It would need all those hops as the chances are, especially in the 19th century, they were brewed as Stock Pale Ales, aged for up to 12 months in trade casks. Hence some Brettanomyces character is acceptable.

1880 - 1914 London PA (Best Bitter)
OG 1057-1065
ABV 5.5-7%
Apparent attenuation 70-85%
IBU 60-80
SRM 5 - 8
pale malt 75-100%
flaked rice or maize 10-15%
sugar 10-20%

If you find this stuff interesting I can write some more guidelines. Either horizontally or vertically.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1887 Fullers XKK

The next Pale Ale at Fullers up the gravity pole from AK was XKK. Only 5º higher in gravity, but far more heavily hopped. Not to be confused with XXK, which was a strong Burton Ale.

The grist is much the same as AK, consisting of just pale malt and an unspecified type of sugar. I’ve gone for No. 2 invert, but who knows what it really was. Unusually, the sugar was added during the second mash rather than the boil.

What more can I say? I know, gypsum was added to the brewing water to “burtonise” it. Something which was pretty standard by this point when brewing Pale Ales. Unless you were in Burton, where the water came conveniently burtonised right out of the well.

There were three types of English hops, all from the 1886 crop: East Kent, Worcester and HB. No idea what that last one might be.

1887 Fullers XKK
pale malt 9.25 lb 78.72%
No. 2 invert sugar 2.50 lb 21.28%
Fuggles 90 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings 60 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings 30 mins 2.25 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.50 oz
OG 1055
FG 1015
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 72.73%
IBU 80
SRM 10.2
Mash at 152º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 56º F
Yeast WLP002 English Ale

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Watering the workers' beer

Another post in my endless beer in Holland in WW II series. The CBK (brewers' organisation) was discussing cutting beer strengths again. My only surprise is that it had taken them so long to get around to the job. By the time this discussion took place, Holland had been occupied for six months.

First the bad news: the German authorities were getting involved:

"Mr Stikker says that the Central Commission for the Food and Drug Industry had a meeting with Mr Louwes, who pointed out, among other things, that the poor food position in Belgium will affect the food supply in the Netherlands; this may also mean that the breweries will have to make their stocks and the promised quantity of barley last longer than December 31, 1941, namely until March 1, 1942. Furthermore, Mr. Louwes stated that the German authorities demand that no beer is sold of a higher gravity than 10.3%; after it was pointed out what economic consequences this would have, it has been left to the N.A.C. how the relationship between the types of beer will be."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 304.

No matter what, it looks like 10.3º Plato was going to be the maximum gravity. And that brewers were going to have to make there stocks of malt and barley last longer than originally expected.

At least they weren't going to have to worry about beer being imported that was stronger than 10.3º Plato:

"On 8 November, a further discussion was held with a representative of the German authorities (Mr. Biel), during which it appeared that if the gravity of the Dutch beer was reduced, the imported beer would not have a higher gravity than 10.3%.

The regulation for the gravity reduction is therefore based on the N.A.C., with the C.B.K. acting as advisor and executor. The C.B.K. must therefore now examine what consequences are attached to a reduction in gravity; it should be kept in mind that the turnover is increasing, that the breweries with the raw materials in stock and expected will probably have to last longer than until December 31, 1941 (possibly until March 1, 1942) and that any malt import from the German side is on the condition of a gravity reduction."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 304.

Dutch beer mostly fell into three categories. 

"The first with the N.A.C. The point to be discussed is which contents should be determined for the different beer types. Preliminary with the N.A.C. talking about a content for heavy beer of 10.0 -10.3%, for lagerbier from 7.3 to 7.8% and for intermediate beer brewed by some breweries from 9.2 to 9.3% .

Mr. Swinkels fears that the public will develop a certain preference for heavy beer instead of lager, as a result of which the breweries will get a greater demand for heavy beer.

Mr Stikker notes that this would not lead to resource savings and that this is one of the reasons why the N.A.C. suggests a production limitation, so that each brewery can brew only a certain number of H.L.° each month; In addition, each brewery would have to maintain in its turnover the existing ratio between heavy and lighter beer. The question now is on which period this ratio should be based. It will not be possible to take the year 1938 as a basis, as it was for the distribution, because all kinds of factors (including the preference of the German soldiers for heavy beer) play a role that did not exist before. For example, see could take the period June/November 1940 or July/December 1940 as a basis."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 305.

I've never some across any beers of the intermediate type. If it was halfway between Pilsner and Lagerbier, that would mean it had a gravity of around 10.5º Plato.

They had every right to fear that Lagerbier drinkers would switch to Pilsner. It's exactly what I would have done. What a surprise that German soldiers preferred the stronger types of beer.

Next time we'll see what the final agreement was and how Heineken reacted in their brewing.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Sunday, effing, Sunday

I loathed Sunday as a child. Sunday school and no playing outside. Not even Yorkshire puddings could make up for that.

Sunny Sundays, like today, were particularly taunting. One of the reasons, to this day, I mostly find bright sunlight depressing.

Once I hit 15 and pubs came into the equation, Sundays became even more crap. A day which is totally unencumbered by other obligations like school or work, and the bastards have the pubs closed for most of the day.

It could have been worse. At least I was in England. Licensing laws were even more annoying in Scotland and Wales on Sundays.

I'd already escaped to foreign-land before they loosened all this shit up in Britain. I remain equivocal about Sunday. Hard to love a day I hated so much through all my childhood.

The gin and tonics Dolores prepares at Sunday noon are helping. And not having work on Monday.

I've almost come to terms with Sunday. Once the shittiest day of the week. Almost.

Sunday Brunch helps - when Mark Dredge doesn't zone out. And there are Yorkshire puddings. That was always the best part of Sunday. The Yorkshire puddings. Now I know how to make them myself.

The worst part of  Sunday has disappeared forever: going to work the next day. That always used to depress the shit out of me on Sunday evening.

Happy, happy, fun times from now on.

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Style Nazis

Actual real Nazis. Not just people I disagree with. Ones with swastika armbands and NSDAP membership cards.

Because in the countries occupied by the Nazis, they really did start interfering with style names. They weren't happy with German-derived names being used for Dutch beer. In particular, Dortmunder.

Mr Stikker says that the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft requires the Phoenix brewery to stop using the name "Dortmunder". The Phoenix brewery has asked the C.B.K. to take up this matter with the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft.

The C.B.K. has, however, advised the Phoenix to send to the Ausfuhrgemeinschaft a copy of the judgment concerning the procedure, which was won in 1928 on this matter. The C.B.K. thought it desirable not to come to the fore in this matter at this time.

The board agrees with this state of affairs.
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 10th December 1940, held at the Amsterdam City Archives, document number 31121-1, pages 287-288.

Basically, the CBK (the Dutch brewers' organisation) wanted to keep its head down. Probably not a bad idea given the nutcases they had to deal with.

Intermediate beer was something between Lagerbier and heavy beer strength. At this point, 8.8º to 9.1º Plato.

Mr. Ivens says that four breweries have applied for the above-mentioned dispensation for beer in the intermediate category. In view of the possibility of action against German beer names, it is desirable to reserve the name Dortmunder for beer of a higher quality.

Mr. Smits van Waesberghe sees the merits of this, but nevertheless points to the commercial objections that arise from this for the breweries concerned.

After some discussion, the board decides that the dispensation for the name Dortmunder for intermediate beer will only be granted to those breweries that until now regularly sold such beer under that name, which dispensation will expire on July 1, 1941.
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 21st January 1941, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 271. 

OK to call your beer Dortmunder, then, but only for a few more months. That's very generous of the occupiers.

In Belgium, it went even further, banning even more style names.

"Mr Stikker says that it has recently been forbidden in Belgium to give a Belgian beer names that indicate a foreign origin, such as "Pilsen", "Baviere", "Munich", "Dortmund"."
Minutes of the management of the CBK on 14th November 1940, held at the Amsterdamse Stadsarchief, document number 31121-1, page 297.

Didn't they have more important things to worry about than beer names? Like that war they were busy losing.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Let's Brew - 1886 Barclay Perkins XLK

As a little relief from the tsunami of Heineken stuff, I'm providing a little relief courtesy of my old favourite Barclay Perkins. It's another recipe which, one day, will feature in my projected book about UK brewing 1880 to 1914. I say projected, the manuscript already has almost 18,000 words.

Barclay Perkins appear to have kicked off with not one, but two Pale Ales. XLK being the weaker of the two. Though only by a marginal amount. I’m not sure what the point was of having two beers with such similar gravities.

That would change when the new century rolled around, with the gravity of XLK falling to 1050º and that of PA increasing to 1060º. Which makes more sense. I’m not sure how these beers were marketed in the 19th century, but between the wars XLK was sold as Ordinary Bitter and PA as Best Bitter.

The grist is almost exactly the same as PA’s. Just base malt, flaked rice and No.1 invert sugar. No frills at all.

Two types of English hops, East Kent and Worcester, both from the 1885 harvest. The dry hops aren’t listed in the brewing record, unfortunately. They are in some later ones and I’ve used that amount, which works out to about a ounce per 5 Imperial gallons.

1886 Barclay Perkins XLK
pale malt 8.25 lb 73.33%
flaked rice 1.50 lb 13.33%
No. 1 invert sugar 1.50 lb 13.33%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 60 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.50 oz
Goldings dry hops 1.00 oz
OG 1054
FG 1014
ABV 5.29
Apparent attenuation 74.07%
IBU 56
Mash at 150º F
Sparge at 165º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale